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Metro has been on the forefront of water reduction efforts for more than a decade. The Water Action Plan and Water Use and Conservation Policy guide Metro efforts. Metro aims to reduce water use by 20% below 1990 levels. We’ve reduced our water use by 48% compared to 2013. We’re looking to save every drop. Some initiatives Metro is implementing to conserve water include:

  • Bus washes:

    ECSD has piloted adjustments to bus wash nozzles and wash schedules at Divisions 7, 9 and 15, looking for ways to conserve water while maintaining cleanliness standards.
  • Dust Collection System Project:

    Replacing the existing air scrubber system that uses approximately 10,000 gallons of water per day. The new system will improve air quality for workers.
  • Reducing the use of potable water:

    Metro is installing connections to recycled water (purple pipes) where made available by LA DWP. This includes a new project in the San Fernando Valley along the Orange Line. Metro is also using recycled water systems at facility steam bays and channeling reclaimed water back into the main water line in partnership with LA DWP and Southern California Edison.
  • Native plant and drought tolerant plant landscaping:

    Metro is installing drip irrigation systems to reduce water loss due to evaporation, selecting plants that reduce the need for irrigation, installing sub-meters to better understand where water can be conserved, and finding alternatives to turf.
  • Permeable pavement (2014):

    Metro received a Proposition 84 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board to install permeable concrete at Division 4 to improve water quality, flood control and ecosystem protection while reducing polluted runoff. This pilot test site will determine the feasibility of more permeable pavement across Metro locations. [more information]

Stormwater and Industrial Wastewater:
Metro oversee the development of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) and, as required, Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plans (SUSMP) for facilities, construction sites, storage areas, and all Metro properties. We prepare and maintain all stormwater and industrial wastewater permits agency-wide.

Water – Performance outcomes and trends

Overall water use:

Metro used 2.11 gallons of water per VRM in 2017, which equates to a reduction of nearly 7 million gallons when compared to 2015. In 2016 a number of pilot projects were implemented to assess the viability of several water reduction strategies. Some of these were deemed unsustainable. In 2017, Metro identified additional long-term strategies that will continue the downward trend in agency-wide water consumption.

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Alignment water use:

Approximately 51% of Metro’s water consumption in 2017 was used along Metro’s rights-of-way (the “alignments”), largely for irrigation. 68% of this water was used along the Orange Line alone. This trend is consistent with previous years and indicates on-going opportunities for water conservation and efficiency along the alignments.

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Water use by facility type:

In 2017, only 33% of Metro’s water was used at Maintenance facilities, a reduction from 40% in 2016. These results indicate that when the modifications to bus wash facilities are completed in 2018, Metro’s maintenance facility water consumption could be reduced by as much as 64,000 gallons per day.

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